After my summer of one date wonders, I took a little time off from dating as work ramped up, but by the fall I figured I should get back out there and give it another go. This time, I met Johan. He was moderately attractive in a nerdy way from his profile pictures, and he seemed to share some common values with me. In my mind, he seemed like a very safe choice. Nothing extravagant or bad boy about him, but just a nice, decent guy. He did volunteer work, had a stable job, and had his own place. All good things to check off on the list of things I’d want in a guy.
We talked for a few weeks through messages and texts. We likely would have met up for a date sooner, but about a week after I started talking to him my appendix decided to go on the fritz and needed to be surgically removed so I had to get a few weeks into recovery before I really felt like going out and being my cute, charming self.
So we finally made a date to meet for coffee one afternoon at a Starbucks, and I was looking forward to getting to know him a bit more. I could tell from the beginning that Johan seemed a bit nervous navigating the ordering and where do we sit process, but I figured once we got settled in, things would get better. Although maybe for someone who gets nervous on dates, adding in a nice dose of caffeine isn’t necessarily the answer to curing the first date jitters?
The conversation ebbed and flowed and bumped along ok, but at times it felt a bit awkward and forced. He seemed barely able to look me in the eyes as we talked and instead was always looking off to the side or down at his drink. Still, we did have some common ground and he seemed like a nice enough guy that I thought I would give him another chance if he wanted to go out again.
Dinner and a Movie
As we continued texting throughout the week, Johan suggested a movie date with dinner afterwards on Saturday. Although movies are not one of my favorite early date activities, I agreed since it was his idea, and it’s nice when a guy actually proposes an idea for a date. Also a lot of the other date activities I might have suggested like bowling were still on my list of banned activities from not being able to lift heavy things after my surgery
As he said he would, the next day he sent me a follow up about our date.
Yes, yes it was for Saturday. That’s the day we agreed to go on a date. We went back and forth through text a few times about what movie to see, and we ended up meeting at the theater still not sure which movie we would go to. Consequently, we ended up sitting in the 2nd row because most of the tickets for the movie we picked were already sold out. Still, I tried not to be too peeved. At least the theaters have the nice comfy seats now that lean back a decent amount so you’re not totally breaking your neck to see the movie.
One of my pet peeves with movie dates is that they don’t offer you much time to talk and get to know someone because you’re spending most of your time watching the movie, and in a theater it would be kind of rude to keep up a side conversation or start making out in the middle of the movie. Not that I really wanted to make out with Johan in a dark theater yet. However, on this date we sadly seemed to run out of things to talk about in just the first 15 minutes that we were waiting for the movie to start. Yikes! Luckily the movie started, so we had that to focus on. Not long into the movie, I got a little tickle in my throat and coughed a few times. I grabbed a cough drop from my purse to stop it, and was fine the rest of the movie. As soon as the movie was over, Johan asked if I was sick. I said no, but he still insisted that if I wasn’t feeling well I should have told him. But I wasn’t sick. So it was nice of him to care, but it felt weirdly over protective for a guy I was only on my second date with.
Now that the movie was over, we moved on to dinner. We also hadn’t picked a place to eat, but luckily there were plenty of choices at the mall where the movie theater is located. It was about 9pm by then, so pretty late for dinner, but we walked outside and I asked where Johan would like to go. He said he didn’t know, but maybe we could just start walking and figure it out. But it was 9pm and I was getting hangry! Can’t we just pick a place so we don’t wander aimlessly for another 15 minutes?
We walked past Shake Shack, and I saw Urban Plates ahead. I mentioned that I really liked it as their food is kind of a healthy version of fast food, but they have seating inside and serve wine and beer. A great choice in my mind because A- alcohol and B- getting our food quickly. As we entered, Johan muttered something about Shake Shack being more of his kind of place. Well then why didn’t you say something when we walked right past it? Regardless we got our food and drinks and stumbled through some more conversation. By the end of this date, I was really starting to feel like I may not be able to grow a connection with this guy. We had some things in common, but every step we took seemed to send me more into the depths of annoyance instead of infatuation.
At the end of dinner, Johan asked if he could walk me to my car, and I said yes, but we awkwardly kept walking two steps in front or behind one another not beside each other. I definitely didn’t want him to kiss me, but I kind of got the sense he was going to try. So as we said goodbye, I swiftly turned my body and went in for the side hug to avoid any unwarranted lip locking. He also asked me to text him when I got home which normally is a sweet gesture that I like from a guy, but it just felt super creepy coming from him. I did though, and apparently he was still convinced that I was sick even though I said I was fine.
Three Date Rule
One of the things we had connected on was football, and Johan continued to text me into the next week. For some reason I decided to go on a third date with him even though things hadn’t been going spectacularly. We went to a local restaurant and bar to watch the Ravens football game on a Sunday. Not being a Baltimore native, I’m definitely not a Ravens fan, but I do love football and beer, and it had been awhile since I had a Sunday Funday with someone else.
So we got two seats at the bar and ordered our beers and food. As the game went on Johan continued to make awkward comments about the game like he didn’t understand how football works. I don’t know if I was just already checked out from our previous dates, or if this one just put the icing on the cake, but I could tell that I definitely wasn’t attracted to him in a relationship type of way. He was still a nice albeit nerdy guy, but the romantic sparks were not flying. When the bill came, I offered to split it with him, but he paid for it anyway.
Later that night, I decided I had to let him know how I was feeling so that he didn’t think I was leading him on any more. The three date rule strikes again. I tried to let him down in the nicest way possible because I know from personal experience no one likes being rejected. Over time, I’ve found its best to just keep it short and sweet and to the point. It took him almost a full 24 hours to respond, but he definitely shot back with guns blazing.
Well, guess I have no real regrets for letting that one go. It’s always fun when people show you their true colors.
So I let 2019 close out without finding love, but hey maybe 2020 was going to be my year? Clearly it was not, but I did get to go on a few fun dates, and almost start a relationship before the pandemic through my dating life into a tailspin.
Until next time,